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7-Day Itinerary From Las Vegas through Arizona & Back

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

Are you in Las Vegas and looking to embark on an unforgettable adventure to the Grand Canyon? The southwestern United States offers an array of breathtaking destinations, and with some careful planning and a rental car, you can experience some of the most iconic national parks, monuments, and natural wonders in the region. From the breathtaking Grand Canyon National Park to the historic Hoover Dam and the surreal rock formations of Sedona, this road trip is a once-in-a-lifetime journey.

Day 1: Las Vegas to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park

Google Maps screenshot of Las Vegas Strip, Hoover Dam, and South Rim of the Grand Canyon

Early Morning Start: To get the most out of your day, you will need to leave Las Vegas early in the morning. The drive to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon takes around four and a half hours via Google Maps' recommended route. This can fluctuate depending on traffic conditions and the stops you make along the journey.

Hoover Dam in Nevada

Scenic Drive and First Stop: Take a short visit to the Hoover Dam, a marvel of engineering on the Colorado River. This dam controls the flooding of the Colorado River and provides water to over 16,000,000 people. Moreover, the dam's 17 turbines generate enough electricity to power 1.3 million homes! To learn more about the Hoover Dam and to tour the 17 turbines, you need to add another day to your itinerary or come back via a tour from the Las Vegas Strip. For this go around, snap some photos and admire the beauty of this creation from The Mike O'Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge!

Grand Canyon South Rim

Grand Canyon South Rim: Arrive at the Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim and head to the Visitor Center for maps and information. A few things you can do at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon are explore the scenic viewpoints along Hermit Road and Desert View Drive for breathtaking views of the canyon. You could also consider taking a short hike on the South Kaibab Trail or the Bright Angel Trail. Both offer excellent vistas of the canyon.

South Rim of the Grand Canyon

Depending on when you left Las Vegas, how much time you spent at the Hoover Dam, and any other stops you made for food or to use the restroom, you may not have enough time to truly explore the Grand Canyon as that needs a few days if not a week to be covered substantially. As such, feel free to add an extra day or two to your itinerary to explore as much of the Grand Canyon as possible.

Overnight: Stay overnight in one of the lodges or campgrounds within the Grand Canyon National Park.

For more suggestions and ideas for your visit to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, reference this blog here.

Day 2: From South Rim to North Rim

Google Map showing time between Grand Canyon South Rim and North Rim

Early Start: Catch the sunrise over the Grand Canyon for a whimsical experience you will never forget!

Angels Window in the North Rim of the Grand Canyon

North Rim: Prepare for a four-hour drive from the South Rim. The North Rim offers a more secluded and less crowded experience, with magnificent viewpoints like Point Imperial and Cape Royal providing exceptional views of the enormous canyon. Consider taking a short hike on the North Kaibab Trail, which goes through lush forests and leads to spectacular overlooks such as Coconino Overlook and Supai Tunnel, offering a different viewpoint of the Grand Canyon's grandeur.

Overnight: The North Rim has limited accommodation options compared to the more popular South Rim. However, you can stay at Grand Canyon Lodge North Rim within the North Rim. If that is booked up, you can consider hotels 30 to 45 minutes away from the North Rim.

Day 3: North Rim to Page, Arizona

Google Map showing distance between North Rim of the Grand Canyon and Antelope Canyon, Arizona with 3 stops in between.

Horseshoe Bend and Lake Powell: When you reach Page, Arizona, be prepared to be amazed by the iconic Horseshoe Bend, a breathtaking bend of the Colorado River. A short hike leads you to the edge of the steep canyon, offering stunning views of the bend below. Afterward, head to Lake Powell, where you can enjoy the stunning beauty of this body of water, surrounded by red rock cliffs, and relax on the sandy shores.

Horseshoe Bend, Arizona

Antelope Canyon: This remarkable spot features narrow walls that let sunlight in, resulting in stunning colors and a truly magical atmosphere. It is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and photography enthusiasts alike, offering a chance to capture breathtaking photos and create unforgettable memories.

Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Overnight: Stay overnight in Page, Arizona, or in a nearby city.

Day 4: Page to Flagstaff, AZ

Google Map screenshot of Page, AZ to Walnut Canyon National Monument and Lowell Observatory

Walnut Canyon National Monument: On your way to Flagstaff, do not miss the chance to make a short stop at Walnut Canyon. Here, you can explore ancient cliff dwellings built into the canyon walls by the Sinagua people over 700 years ago. Take a hike along the Island Trail to get a closer look at these well-preserved dwellings and gain insight into the fascinating history and architecture of this ancient civilization.

Walnut Canyon National Monument, AZ

Lowell Observatory: While in Flagstaff, take a fascinating trip to the historic Lowell Observatory, where the discovery of Pluto took place. Immerse yourself in stargazing programs, available seasonally, and witness the wonders of the night sky through powerful telescopes, making for an unforgettable astronomical experience.

Overnight: Stay overnight in Flagstaff. There are plenty of hotels and airbnbs in Flagstaff.

Day 5: Flagstaff to Sedona, Arizona

Google Maps from Flagstaff to Montezuma Castle National Monument with 3 stops in between

Sedona: Drive to Sedona and be mesmerized by the impressive red rock formations that make this place so unique. With beautiful hiking trails, consider taking a short hike at Bell Rock or exploring the scenic wonders of Oak Creek Canyon, both offering great views of the picturesque landscapes surrounding this charming town. Both Bell Rock and Oak Creek Canyon offer rewarding vistas, allowing you to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the region and experience the tranquility that Arizona has to offer.

Bell Rock in Sedona, Arizona

Jerome State Historic Park: On your way to Sedona, stop at Jerome, a historic town with a Wild West vibe. This charming town is perched on the side of a mountain and offers unique shops, galleries, and restaurants, all while preserving its rich mining history and architectural heritage. Taking a stroll through Jerome's winding streets and exploring its vintage buildings will transport you back in time and add a touch of nostalgia to your journey through the American Southwest.

Jerome State Historic Park in Arizona

Montezuma Castle National Monument: Make time to visit Montezuma Castle, a fascinating ancient cliff dwelling site. This well-preserved structure, built into the limestone cliffs over 700 years ago by the Sinagua people, offers a glimpse into the rich history and ingenuity of the Native American cultures that once thrived in the region. Walking along the paved trail, you will be able to view the impressive five-story dwelling and marvel at the remarkable engineering skills of its creators, making it a captivating addition to your southwestern adventure.

Montezuma Castle National Monument in Arizona

Overnight: Stay overnight in Sedona. There are plenty of hotels - like the Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock.

For more suggestions and ideas for your Sedona and Flagstaff, reference this blog here.

Day 6: Sedona to Las Vegas

Google Maps showing distance between Sedona, Arizona and Las Vegas Strip, Nevada with 3 stops in between

Day 6, the last day in Arizona: It is time to get our kicks on Route 66! After a busy week exploring Arizona, sleep in, enjoy your morning, get some brunch, and prepare to get back on the road toward Las Vegas. On your way out of Sedona, pass through Oak Creek Canyon for a scenic drive out of the area and to catch one last look at this beautiful place you explored yesterday.

Lizzie lookalike from the Cars movie in front of a gift shop in Williams, Arizona

Williams, Arizona: Explore Williams, Arizona, a cute town also known as the "Gateway to the Grand Canyon." In Williams, you can purchase souvenirs to commemorate your road trip, zipline along a section of Route 66, enjoy an exhilarating ride on the mountain coaster, and visit wildlife at Bearizona. Bearizona is a unique wildlife park where you can see bears, wolves, and other North American animals up close in their habitats by car and on foot. Williams is a delightful stop on your journey through Route 66!

Seligman, Arizona: Take a pit stop in the charming town of Seligman, a nostalgic Route 66 gem. This lively town served as a significant inspiration for the beloved Pixar movie "Cars," and you will find delightful Cars-themed photo opportunities throughout. Take a stroll down the iconic main street adorned with vintage signs, classic cars, and quirky shops, immersing yourself in the vintage Americana that has made Seligman a must-visit destination for road-trippers seeking a taste of the past. Personally, I say that Seligman is a real-life Radiator Springs.

If you decide to explore more of Route 66 in Arizona, make sure to check out our blog for the 11 Great Road Trip Stops on Route 66 in Arizona.

Overnight: After stopping in Seligman, continue on back to Las Vegas and stay there overnight with your car rental for the last day of adventure!

Day 7: In Las Vegas with the Rental Car

Google Maps screenshot depicting round trip of Las Vegas Strip, Red Rock Canyon, and Valley of Fire State Park

Red Rock Canyon: Do not miss the chance to visit Red Rock Canyon, just 30 minutes away from the Las Vegas Strip. This stunning natural area offers easy-access hiking trails that lead you through the vibrant red rock formations, providing breathtaking vistas at every turn. Whether you're a seasoned hiker or just looking for a short and enjoyable walk, Red Rock Canyon promises a delightful escape into the striking beauty of the Mojave Desert landscape.

Valley of Fire State Park: For an unforgettable experience, consider adding Valley of Fire State Park to your itinerary - one hour away from Red Rock Canyon. This mesmerizing park is renowned for its breathtaking red rock formations, which glow brilliantly under the desert sun. Take a leisurely drive through the park's scenic routes to witness the stunning geological wonders, and be sure to explore the various hiking trails and viewpoints that showcase the park's vibrant beauty at every turn. On our visit, we encountered wildlife as we drove through the scenic routes, and it was fascinating to see these animals in their element.

Seven Magic Mountains: If you find yourself running low on energy and wish to skip one of the above Las Vegas suggestions, consider visiting Seven Magic Mountains, located about 25 minutes south of the Strip. This art installation features seven towering, brightly colored stacks of boulders, creating a striking and whimsical contrast against the surrounding desert landscape. It offers a unique and accessible artistic experience without the need for extensive physical exertion, making it a perfect alternative for a quick and enjoyable break from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Final Step: Return the rental car to the drop-off point, and head back to your hotel or Airbnb. It is now time to unwind, go for a dip in the pool, and grab a bite to eat before heading to bed to recuperate from this 7-day adventure!

Feel free to add days to the itinerary or take away some days. It is a jam-packed schedule that makes the most of your week, so it is understandable if you want to adjust it to fit your needs! Be sure to check out the other three blog posts linked within this post for more information on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, Sedona, and Route 66 in Arizona.

FYI: Be sure to check the rules of your rental car agency to see if they allow you to leave Nevada with the car and which states you can take the rental car to. Our rental car agency only allowed us to use the vehicle in Nevada, California, Arizona, and Utah. Some rental car agencies are more lenient or stringent - your best bet is to call and ask prior to making a reservation.

It's Time to Hit the Road, Jack!

Road Trip Scenery

This 7-day itinerary covers major attractions in Arizona and some near Las Vegas, but there are many more beautiful places and hiking trails to explore! Whether you have an entire week or just a few days, the southwestern United States offers a diverse and awe-inspiring landscape that is definitely worth visiting. So grab your rental car, camera, and sense of adventure, and embark on the road trip of a lifetime! If you need help figuring out what to bring on your trip to Arizona, check out our What You Need to Pack for your Trip to Arizona blog post.

Have you been to any of these places before? If so, let us know in the comments below - we would love to hear about your trip! If you have not gone, are they on your bucket list of places to visit now? Let us know in the comments below, and share this article with the person or people you want to go with! Either way, SUBSCRIBE below to learn about other places you should add to your "To Visit" List! Ready? Okay, vamos. Time to have fun!

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